Jeffrey's Articles

Jeffrey Steele is an independent writer in Chicago who has written over 2,000 articles appearing in publications such as Barron's, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, LA Times, and more.

Enter a new chapter in personal finance success

Written by Jeffrey Steele - Leave a Comment

One of the telltale signs you’re rapidly becoming an annoying elder statesman is an increasing tendency to buttonhole much younger people and dispense advice they haven’t sought, don’t want and are unlikely to take to heart.
You know the kind of guidance I’m talking about. Always eat your green vegetables. Exercise regularly. Look both ways before [...]

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Published on April 23rd, 2014
Modified on April 18th, 2014 - Leave a Comment
Filed under: Retirement, Reviews, Saving & Investing
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Worst-case-scenario playbook

Written by Jeffrey Steele - 2 Comments

This is the time of year when I annually confer with my financial adviser. As I drove to meet him in his office a couple weeks ago, I had reason to expect we’d both be in jovial moods. The stock market’s performance over the past year has been stellar, after all, and my account has [...]

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Published on April 9th, 2014
Modified on April 2nd, 2014 - 2 Comments
Filed under: Frugality, Planning, Retirement
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All-star-cash-management lessons from the diamond

Written by Jeffrey Steele - One Comment

If you’re a baseball fan like me, it’s a good bet you read the Michael Lewis book “Moneyball” well before it spawned a Brad Pitt movie. The tome is a laugh-out-loud chronicle of how free-thinking general manager Billy Beane brought some respectability to his woebegone, small-market, tiny-budgeted Oakland Athletics.
But linking money and baseball is nothing new, [...]

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Published on March 26th, 2014 - One Comment
Filed under: Saving & Investing
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Putting the brakes on aggressive driving’s exorbitant cost

Written by Jeffrey Steele - 5 Comments

According to a new survey from Insure.com, the most expensive 2014 car to insure in the United States is the $110,000 Nissan GT-R Track Edition, which requires a few bucks less than $3,200 in premiums to cover for 12 months.
The super car is better known in some quarters as “Godzilla,” for it is a monster [...]

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Published on March 12th, 2014 - 5 Comments
Filed under: Automotive
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News flash: You are now allowed to spend retirement savings

Written by Jeffrey Steele - 9 Comments

Aside from the need to work, toil and slave to salt away one or two million bucks or more, there’s one thing that has long ticked me off about the whole topic of retirement planning — the single-minded focus on accumulation.
Entire libraries could be filled with the books, newspaper pieces, magazine articles, DVDs and CDs [...]

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Published on February 26th, 2014
Modified on February 28th, 2014 - 9 Comments
Filed under: Retirement, Saving & Investing
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To love, cherish and argue about money

Written by Jeffrey Steele - 2 Comments

In the 1960s-era suburban landscape where I spent my formative years, the atmosphere was much less structured than it is today. If we kids wanted to see our friends, it was routine for us to run to their homes, open the back screen doors and stroll right in.
But if their parents were fighting, as wasn’t [...]

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Published on February 12th, 2014 - 2 Comments
Filed under: Family & Life, Retirement
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Longevity logic and retirement rationales

Written by Jeffrey Steele - 5 Comments

The professional association to which I belong meets the second Tuesday of the month. Afterward, many of the members in attendance hit a nearby Italian bistro for a buy-your-own dinner.
Last week, I exited for home alongside another long-time association member, George, who had a train to catch. I asked if he’d commuted downtown just for the [...]

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Published on January 29th, 2014 - 5 Comments
Filed under: Retirement, Saving & Investing
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Failing to plan is planning to fail

Written by Jeffrey Steele - 2 Comments

It’s that time again, time for the inevitable turn-of-the-year vows to eat smarter, exercise more and be nicer to friends and family. One in a hundred may actually keep those commitments and become healthier, better people in the process.
Others may focus on becoming financially healthier, promising themselves they will look harder for the best credit [...]

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Published on January 15th, 2014 - 2 Comments
Filed under: Planning
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Your assignment: work longer and/or save more

Written by Jeffrey Steele - 2 Comments

Back in 2010, near the Great Recession’s nadir, the National Retirement Risk Index (NRRI) released a finding many regarded as troubling in the extreme.
That discovery was that even if Americans worked until age 65 and annuitized all their assets, including the proceeds from reverse mortgages on the homes in which they lived, fully 53 percent [...]

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Published on December 18th, 2013
Modified on December 12th, 2013 - 2 Comments
Filed under: Retirement
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Stuffing Coal Into Scammers’ Stockings

Written by Jeffrey Steele - 3 Comments

Was Charles Dickens particularly ingenious when he came up with the legendary character Ebenezer Scrooge? Was Dr. Seuss at his creative best when he unveiled the Grinch? Did director Frank Capra and the others involved in assembling the classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life” experience a lightning bolt of inspiration when they dreamed up old [...]

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Published on December 4th, 2013 - 3 Comments
Filed under: Charity
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